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Harrisburg paper to publish on Tue, Thu and Sun

Peter Jackson, Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- Harrisburg's daily newspaper, The Patriot-News, said Tuesday it will scale back the publication of printed papers to Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays starting Jan. 2.

The announcement followed last month's disclosure that The Patriot-News and the Post-Standard of Syracuse, N.Y., are switching to a three-per-week publication schedule as their corporate owner shifts away from daily publication. Both papers are owned by Advance Publications Inc.

Patriot-News Editor Cate Barron said Tuesday that the 230 full-time employees will receive either job offers or severance notices by the first week in October.

The job offers will come from the new company — PA Media Group — that will result from the planned merger of The Patriot-News and its website, pennlive.com.

The new company will offer larger newspapers on the days it publishes, including seven days of comics and many existing sections and features, while focusing on an expansion of around-the-clock news coverage online.

Newspapers will continue to be home-delivered and will also be available on newsstands, officials said.

The Patriot-News won a Pulitzer Prize this year for its coverage of the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal.

Publisher John Kirkpatrick has said it is important for the newspaper to adapt to a changing world. He said the paper's Sunday circulation has fallen to 118,000 from 176,000 in 1992 and that unique visitors to its website increased 80 percent in the past year.

Kirkpatrick said jobs are likely to be reduced but the number of editorial content producers, such as reporters and photographers, is expected to remain about the same.

Four other Advance newspapers — The Times-Picayune of New Orleans and the three largest papers in Alabama — said in June that they were switching to three-times-a-week publication. Those changes were accompanied by hundreds of layoffs.